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SUNDAY SCRIPTURES | Saintliness looks different for all of us

Sunday, Nov. 1: Solemnity of All Saints | God asks us to celebrate those who have gone before us and have shown us the face of God

If your family is anything like mine, you have some folks to celebrate on this special day, All Saints Day. We are blessed in our families with those women and men who exemplify saintly lives. They have never been declared saints in an official way by the Church, but we reasonably expect, on account their example and way of life, that they are among those who share in the heavenly banquet prepared for all of us. This is a day to celebrate them and to remind ourselves that we are still connected with them, if not physically.

I have two grandparents who were almost opposite in nature, but both saintly and sacred. My paternal grandmother raised many children at a time when money was scarce and living was hard. In addition to dealing with those challenges, her body was wracked with arthritis. I don’t mean just a few swollen joints but her whole body — by the time she died, she was twisted like a pretzel. Her pain was excruciating and never-ending. She lived across the street from us and so I saw her a lot as a child. She needed help standing from a chair and walking from one place to another. In the end, she was bedridden and completely dependent. I remember her being a woman of prayer and always offered her suffering and pain for the sake of those who had no one to pray for them. You knew, through her words and prayers, that God was always close to her, within her heart, her constant companion. She certainly was one of the “blessed are the poor in spirit.” I celebrate her life of holiness and grace. May she rest in peace!

My maternal grandfather lived a very different life. He lived life to its fullest. He was sick in his early life but recovered as an adult and found every way possible to celebrate all the gifts that God had given to him. He had several wives, all of whom he loved and cherished, and all whom he outlived. He loved parties and dancing and was a joy to be around. He gathered with family and was the instigator of many jokes. Wherever he was, there was life. He was a Teamster when that meant he drove a team of horses. He loved hockey and other sports. He died of an abdominal aneurysm walking up the steps of the old St. Louis Arena, getting ready to watch a hockey game. He took life and lived it to its full. He prayed for his family and friends, and remembered dearly all the blessings he was given by God. He knew it was a gift to be alive.

Saintliness doesn’t look the same for everyone. God asks us to celebrate those who have gone before us who have shown us the face of God and have used their gifts to be faithful witnesses to Jesus. Whose story would you tell if you were able to write this column? Remember to share that story with someone else and find a way to celebrate their life and the way their life has affected you.

A Blessed All Saints Day to all of you from all of us at All Saints Church in St. Peters.

Father Wester is pastor of All Saints Parish in St. Peters.

Sunday, Nov. 1

Solemnity of All Saints

Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14

1 John 3:1-3

Psalm 24:1-6

Matthew 5:1-12a

Other weekly readings


30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Exodus 22:20-26

Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51

1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10

Matthew 22:34-40



Ephesians 4:32—5:8

Psalm 1:1-6

Luke 13:10-17



Ephesians 5:21-33

Psalm 128:1-5

Luke 13:18-21


Sts. Simon and Jude,

apostles, feast

Ephesians 2:19-22

Psalm 19:2-5

Luke 6:12-16



Ephesians 6:10-20

Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10

Luke 13:31-35



Philippians 1:1-11

Psalm 111:1-6

Luke 14:1-6



Philippians 1:18b-26

Psalm 42:2-5

Luke 14:1, 7-11

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